Cornas is a full-bodied red wine from France that pairs best with Lamb, Duck, Cassoulet, Grilled Venison and Wild Boar Sausages. Made entirely from Syrah, Cornas is fruity with cassis, cherry and raspberry, along with savoury notes of bacon, black pepper, herbs and smoked meat. Grown in granite-based soil, Cornas is out-of-fashion with its abundant minerality when compared to the jammy and popular Australian Shiraz.

Cornas has medium acidity and very high tannin. The medium acidity makes Cornas a food-friendly wine, however, some serious aging or pairing with a protein-heavy food pairing are a must to soften the tannin up. Layered, rich, creamy, and deep, Cornas is a wine that is more about grace as its fruity, mineral, spice and smoked meat flavours casually sashay across your tongue.

Best Food with Cornas Red Wine

Roasted Lamb Shoulder & Cornas Pairing

Roasted Lamb has a gamy flavour with a pleasant with a hint of smokiness which works well with the fruitiness and smoked meat flavours of Cornas. In North America, not everyone loves gamy flavours, and the notes of cassis, black cherry, raspberry and strawberry of Cornas help distract your mind from these notes with their contrasting fruity flavours.

Meanwhile, hints of spice, tobacco, herbs, mineral, bacon fat and leather found in your glass of Cornas pair exceptionally well with the smokiness of the roasted lamb shoulder.

Roasted Lamb Shoulder is quite fatty, and when cooked for hours, the lamb meat falls off the bone and tastes slightly sweet and succulent. Cornas, with its high tannin, when combined with Lamb’s fat and protein, instantly softens, making the wine more approachable without having to age it for many years. The wine also makes the Lamb taste better, as tannin breaks down protein molecules of the Lamb, releasing their flavours upon your taste buds.

Cassoulet & Cornas Pairing

Cassoulet is a slow-cooked white bean and meat stew packed with lots of flavours and generous amounts of carbohydrates, protein and fat. The fruity flavours of Cornas keep you refreshed when it comes to the starchy flavours of the white beans. Meanwhile, nearly any meat you toss into your Cassoulet, whether that be duck, wild boar, rabbit, sausage, Lamb or beef will complement the savoury smoked meat and earthy flavours of Cornas.

Venison Stew & Cornas Wine Pairing

If you’re eating Venison Stew, I’m assuming you are not too concerned with what’s in style. Venison stew is hearty, rugged, and meant to keep you nourished during the lean winter months. Likewise, Cornas is not stylish. Cornas, while fruity, has notes of earth, herbs, spices, minerals, violet, lavender and licorice. Syrah is the same grape as Shiraz, however, Cornas will never be as stylish as an Australian Shiraz.

And Cornas, despite being French, is not a wine that is considered stylish. Shiraz and Syrah are the same grape, but the wines are produced in different styles. Australian Shiraz is jammy, pepper, smooth and bombastic. Syrah, on the other hand, has sharp notes of green olive, savoury notes of bacon fat, and earthy notes of mineral, which all go amazing with the meat, herbs, spices and root vegetables found in your Venison Stew.

In the Northern Rhone region where Cornas is from, Cornas and Venison Stew evolved together over time for centuries as hunters relied on game to survive. If you want to honour this lifestyle with your Venison Stew, you’ll find nothing better pairing than a glass of Cornas. If you are making Venison Stew for a fun dinner party and want to keep your guests happy – go with an Australian Shiraz.